Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Need design ideas? Surf Wordpress blogs.

I'm a terrible designer. As one of those people who can't close their eyes and imagine with clarity The Perfect Design, I'm forced to rely on other people who don't suck at makin' things pretty and useable.

One of the best resources I've found so far are Wordpress blogs. Some Wordpress blogs have the most ridiculously beautiful themes you will ever find. For instance, following a link from Hacker News got me to some dude's post about "Encouraged Commentary." Excellent ideas aside, the first thing that struck me was that his blog was freakin' beautiful. I mean, look at it. It is aesthetically pleasing and functional, to boot. Hell, look at what he does to images -- they're faded out until you roll over one, at which point the image becomes crisp and the caption pops up.

Another resource is the official Wordpress Themes site. Some gems hidden away in there.

I'm not saying steal these themes or anything -- far from it. But they can provide a jumping off point for the uncreative types to work with. For a certain site, I started with a pretty nice Wordpress theme and then modified it so much it looked nothing like the original... but without the original, I wouldn't have gotten even half as far as I did. It helps that most of the themes on the Wordpress site are liscensed liberally, even though I don't actually look at the underlying CSS. I actually cherry pick certain parts of the designs and incorporate them into one OK-looking site.

It provides enough momentum to get me going, at least.

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